International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Former Slovenian MEP: Ideas on redrawing borders in WB must be rejected

April 15, 2021

Ideas on redrawing borders in the Western Balkans and annexing parts of Bosnia to neighboring countries must promptly be rejected to avoid a risk of possible conflicts, former European Parliament member, Igor Soltes, told N1, commenting on an alleged non-paper which Slovanian media said the country’s PM sent to Brussels.

The document, published by necenzurirano.si on Thursday, proposes Kosovo to join Albania and parts the Serb dominated part of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in Serbia and the country’s mostly Croat-populated parts to be annexed to Croatia.

It is not clear who drafted the document but according to some officials, it is an idea that is circulating among some EU members.

Slovenian PM, Janez Jansa, denied that he sent such a document.

“Any change of borders or unification represents a great danger and leads to the risk that the latent situation turns into a dangerous game,” Soltes told N1, adding that he hopes “we are wise enough and have enough knowledge of history to know what such initiatives lead to.”

“For that reason, we need to be very careful and react promptly,” he said.

“When I was in the European Parliament, there were initiatives to change borders and initiatives to resolve border issues and agreements like the one on Belgrade-Pristina, and then it was clear that there must be no changes in territories, and the situation in Bosnia was cited as an example,” he explained.

Soltes stressed that the official position of Slovenia is that it always supported efforts to bring the Western Balkans closer to European integration and that his country has offered Bosnia help with that through various projects.

Soltes also commented on the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the Bosnian war and contains the country’s Constitution, arguing that it is completely up to the citizens of BiH to decide on its fate.

However, he stressed that ideas such as those in the controversial alleged non-paper must be rejected because they “open up huge problems and there is a great risk that new conflicts might occur, which is not in the interest of BiH.”

Bosnia must have a common position, at least when it comes to foreign policy, he said, adding that when there is internal discord, there is a lot of room for various manipulations, so all efforts should be made to at least reach a consensus on key issues.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/former-slovenian-mep-ideas-on-redrawing-borders-in-wb-must-be-rejected/

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